Pelvic Pain. Mr Alan Gillespie answers the FAQs…
Mr Alan Gillespie, Consultant Gynaecologist
Claremont Clinics: Thursday evenings/Friday & Saturday mornings
Mr Gillespie specialises in the management of most gynaecological problems including the diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological pre-cancer and cancer.
I have significant pelvic pain. What can be done about this? Pelvic pain can be a severely debilitating condition with many different causes. If you are experiencing problems or your quality of life is being affected then prompt investigation and treatment is required.
How can I be helped? Pelvic pain requires investigation to identify the cause of the symptoms. Commonly in female patients there is an underlying gynaecological issue. Pelvic pain can also be caused by problems relating to the bladder, bowel, nerves, muscle or bone. As gynaecological causes of pain are common it is usually a Gynaecologist who investigates pelvic pain in women.
I am worried. Could my symptoms be due to cancer? Cancer can sometimes present with pain however there are more common causes of pelvic pain in women than cancer. It is unlikely that you have cancer. The investigation of pelvic pain will exclude cancer and provide reassure you if this is a concern.
What will happen when I visit for a consultation? After meeting the reception staff in the private consulting suite, the doctor will see you and discuss your symptoms in more detail. From a gynaecological perspective you will be asked whether the pain is related to your menstrual cycle, whether you have problematic bleeding, discharge or pain during intercourse. You will be asked questions about your bladder and bowel function. The answers to these questions may help determine the likely underlying cause of the pain and also what investigations are required.
What investigations are required? Investigations will typically include an ultrasound scan and swabs (to exclude an infection). The scan is usually performed by placing a probe on the abdomen and another into the vagina. For the abdominal scan the bladder must be full. The internal scan is usually well tolerated with minimal discomfort. Other investigations may be required depending on the discussion regarding your symptoms with the doctor.
Will I need an operation? Sometimes this will be recommended. If initial tests don’t identify a cause for the pain a laparoscopy may be recommended. This may also be recommended if the scan indicates that surgery is required to treat the cause of pain.
What is a laparoscopy? A laparoscope is a small telescope introduced into the abdominal cavity through the umbilicus to allow the surgeon to inspect the pelvis. The procedure involves a short general anaesthetic and is usually performed as a day case. Patients typically return to work after a few days. The short operation may allow the doctor to identify and treat the cause of pelvic pain.
How quickly can I be seen and reassured? The aim of the service is to see patients concerned about their symptoms as soon as possible and offer prompt reassurance.
What do I do next?A private consultation with Mr Gillespie is £195 if you don’t have health insurance. To book an appointment, just call our Private Patient Team on 0114 263 2114. You can self-refer to Mr Gillespie if you are paying for yourself. You only need a GP referral letter if you are insured (Mr Gillespie is recognised by all health insurers) and you can see one of our Private GPs quickly for this if you prefer.
Copyright Alan Gillespie, 2019.